Athens Acropolis: Erechtheion – A monument dedicated to King Erichthonius

Erechtheion - A monument dedicated to King Erichthonius situated in the Athens Acropolis, Greece

Erechtheion – A monument dedicated to King Erichthonius

The image shows the south side porch of the Erechtheion, a temple built by the famous sculptor Phidias and dedicated to the legendary King Erichthonius.

Built on a slope on the north side of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, the Erechtheion is second only to the Parthenon in importance. Its complex ground plan has porches on the east, north and south sides. The east side porch is dedicated to Athena and the west side to Poseidon. The construction of the original monument began in 420 BCE and ended in 406 BCE. After Roman General Sulla sacked it 80 BCE, it underwent many modifications in the subsequent years.

As you can see from the image, the porch has six caryatids (female figures used as columns), which are duplicates. The original caryatids were moved to the museums for safekeeping. Five among them are now in the new Acropolis Museum in Athens, and the sixth, which was taken by Lord Elgin in the 19th century, is in the British Museum in London.

A recent study suggests that this building was referred to as the Parthenon in ancient texts, instead of the structure we now identify as the Parthenon, because it fits the name and description in those texts. Note that Parthenon means a room for virgins in Greek.

Related Pages
Athens, Olympia, Delphi, Meteora
Crete, Greek Islands, Greece
Minoan Civilization, Mycenaean Civilization

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